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Mass Media Law 101

This guide is intended to support media personnel in navigating through mass media law in the Philippines. Media has played a significant part in Philippine history. It is steeped in a nationalist tradition, with roots in the propaganda movement that inspired and aided the 1896 Philippine revolution against the colonizer Spain. Through the years media has also grown into different other roles: objective chronicler of events, government watchdog, educator, entertainer. Needless to say, the “fourth estate” has
a profound impact on society.

This overview of legal processes and media laws is a critical tool for media practitioners on the field today. Most alarming
recently, media has needed to know more about the law and engage with courts in order to defend itself and its members.
Efforts to muzzle the practice and the influence of media ranges from physical harm to psychological toll, and legal action or lawsuits against media organizations and personnel are not uncommon in the Philippines.

This guide, however, cannot be a substitute for a lawyer’s advice based on specific facts. But familiarity with the law is part of the rigors of the jobs and of a frontline defense mechanism. This guide hopefully demystifies laws, the courts and its ivory towers, and the system to better respect, fulfill and protect the rights of all.